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Monday, March 11, 2013

City Girl Gets Knocked Down by a Cow!!

        Well, actually a heifer (young cow, first time momma, for my non-country friends) .  Because I love springtime and calving season, and because I am a morning person, I voluntarily check the heifers in the barn/corral every morning at 5:00 while the coffee is brewing.  So this morning I got up, threw on some sweat pants under my nightgown, my down coat, a hat and gloves, grabbed the fancy flashlight/spotlight and my handy-dandy slip-on, not- practical- for-corrals, shoes.

       As I was walking to the barn I noticed so many stars in the black sky and how incredibly tired I felt.  Oh yeah, the time change (4:00 am old time).  As I crawled under the fence and through the cement bunk I noticed  a heifer with a calf almost completely born.  His head was twisted under him, so I straightened him out and cleared the junk from his nose and mouth, but he didn't breathe.  It seems this small heifer had been trying a long time and usually when that happens they just continue to lay there instead of getting up like an experienced mama cow would. They usually are not very interested in their calf at first.   I decided to try to pick the calf up by it's hind legs in hopes that more junk would drain out, like I've seen Randy  do so many times.  My next plan would be to try to blow some air in the calf's nose, which I've also seen Randy do.  I was about to grab the calf when I heard snorting behind me and WHAM the heifer hit me in the back with her head.    The heifer continued to maul me with her head, still snorting and maybe bawling (it's all a blur).  Now I'm face down in the manure and newborn calf gunk.  She stopped momentarily (I'm so thankful she didn't step on me!) and I jumped up and ran faster, I'm sure, than I can normally run. I'm more of an endurance runner.   I'm no good at sprinting, especially without warming up and stretching first.   I felt like I was flying, my feet barely touching the ground.   I could hear and feel her right behind me, so no time to look back!  I  was yelling  and the other 23 heifers were scattering to get out of my way.  I scrambled under the fence and realized I had lost my left shoe.  Who cares!  Not going back for it. Miraculously, I didn't step in any cow pies during my hasty exit.  Proof that I was flying!

        I ran all the way to the house, somehow thinking if Randy could get there in time he could save the calf. Thanks to adrenaline I didn't even feel the gravel on my shoeless foot.  Ran in the house and Country Boy (Randy) says I was hysterical and out of breath and he couldn't understand a word I said at first, but knew something was wrong, so got dressed and headed to the corral.  The calf did not survive.

      I am stiff and sore, and I have a great deal of respect for Heifer #14.  All heifers, for that matter.  I will never again assume they won't be aggressive, nor will I turn my back to them.

     Feel free to have a good laugh. Randy says I'm not allowed to check the heifers anymore.  I hope to change his mind.  Right now I'm going to put some ice on my shoulder.

      They say Daylight Savings Time is responsible for lots of accidents.  I'm not sure I would have been any more alert an hour later without coffee.